One of his sons, Bear Brown, confirmed the heartbreaking news on social media, adding that the 68-year-old passed away on Sunday.
Billy Brown, the star of Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People reality show, has tragically passed away at 68. One of his sons, Bear Brown, confirmed the heartbreaking news on social media noting that the Alaskan Bush People patriarch took his last breath on Sunday night after suffering a fatal seizure. We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure. He was our best friend — a wonderful and loving dad, granddad, and husband and he will be dearly missed: wrote Bear in a post on Instagram alongside a picture of his parents Billy and Ami Brown.
'Alaskan Bush People' Star Billy Brown Dead at 68 https://t.co/rAdFNfhuqr— TMZ (@TMZ) February 8, 2021
He lived his life on his terms, off the grid, and off the land and taught us to live like that as well. We plan to honor his legacy going forward and to continue with his dream. We ask for privacy and prayers during this painful time! God bless everyone! continued the 33-year-old's post, according to DEADLINE. A Disney spokesperson shared a statement that read, "We are devastated to hear of Billy Brown's sudden passing. He has been part of the Discovery family for years — a trailblazer, a lovely man and most definitely one of a kind. Our heart is with his family and those that knew him and loved him as they deal with this devastating loss."
The Alaskan Bush People series follows the journey of a naturalist and adventurer Billy Brown and his family — wife, Ami, and their seven children — who reside deep inside Alaska's bush connecting with the wild nature and bonding with each other. The series, which recently completed its 12th season, was launched in 2014, and Brown had been in it ever since then. Now, the shocking news of his death has left everyone in the family shattered but it is not the first time that the Browns have been faced with difficult news. In 2017, 57-year-old Ami was diagnosed with an advanced stage of lung cancer.
Initially, she suffered from unexplained pain. "Last fall I had some pain in my back. Walking from the house to the garden, I would get winded," she recalled while speaking with PEOPLE. "There were days I was just bedridden, but I just thought it was my arthritis. We were filming the show and at times it was all I could do to just stand there — I was in so much pain. When we were shooting promo shots I told them, 'There’s something wrong.' In December I went to the dentist to get impressions made for new teeth and when they did a scan they noticed a little capsule. That’s how this all started."
Following the diagnosis, Ami's family permanently relocated to Washington from their homestead in rural Alaska just so she could get the proper treatment she required. The mother of seven was determined to keep fighting. "I realized early into this that it’s very easy to want to give up and just die. And on the pessimist side, it could be my last days," she said. "But I have the will to fight." After months of grueling chemotherapy, signs of cancer that had spread throughout her chest and back disappeared and she was cancer-free in late 2018. "The doctors were as shocked as we were," shared Ami's husband Billy in 2018. "I was expecting great news. I could just feel it," she shared. "It’s very scary but I never gave up hope. You have to stay positive and keep God with you because he really does perform miracles."